Daniel Benitez (Cafe Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES — If you travel to Cuba with a considerable sum of money on you, don’t let it out of your sight at any point while going through customs, for con artists set their sights on you from the moment you set foot on the airport – perhaps they even traveled in the same plane you took.
The analysis of security footage taken at a customs check point in Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport allowed Cuban authorities to detect the theft of a passenger’s wallet that contained over US $10,000.
The rather undetailed information published on the Cuban Customs’ website tells us the passenger arrived in Cuba from the United States on a flight numbered 9434, but does not provide us with the victim’s nationality or the names of the individuals involved.
A flight with the same number is operated by the Marazul agency based in Miami, but that plane flies on Mondays, not Tuesday, which is the day the theft took place, on April 29.
The note adds that, during a hand luggage inspection, two passengers approached a customs official to report the loss of the money belt which contained the cash.
Following this complaint, airport officials went over the closed circuit surveillance recording and discovered that another passenger had taken advantage of a moment of distraction to walk away with the victim’s belongings. The thief proceeded to the bathroom located in the airport’s receiving area, where he hid the money and discarded the money belt.
The wrongdoer was detained in the airport bathroom. Following an interrogation, the suspect confessed the theft, returned the money and was arrested.
According to the Customs report, the victims expressed their gratitude to airport authorities for the swiftness with which they dealt with the incident.
The Customs report is accompanied by a photo of the alleged victim, who is apparently an elderly gentleman, but provides no additional personal information.